The International Competition Committee of the U.S. Biathlon Association announced that Kevin Patzoldt of Grand Rapids, Minn. has been named to the U.S. World Cup Biathlon Team. Patzoldt, a 2008 graduate of Gustavus and four-year member of the nordic ski team, has been training full-time with coach Vladimir Cervenka at Mount Itasca Biathlon for the past year and half. Kevin is a veteran of several World Junior Championship Teams, and has competed several times on the Europa Cup Team, but this will be his first experience at the World Cup. The World Cup Team will compete in the first of three World Cup events this weekend Dec. 2-6 in Ostersund, Sweden.
Patzoldt turned in several strong performances recently that led to his being named to the World Cup Team. He posted an impressive first place finish at Soldier Hollow in Utah where he shot an impressive 19 for 20 on the range and finished seven seconds ahead of the top-ranked US biathlete, Tim Burke. The 20km race clearly is Patzoldt’s specialty, and he will have the opportunity to race two of them in the December World Cup events.
Joining Patzoldt on the World Cup Team will be 2006 Olympian Lowell Bailey (Lake Placid, NY), 2006 Olympian Tim Burke (Paul Smiths, NY), three-time Olympian Jay Hakkinen (Kasilof, Alaska), and two-time Olympian Jeremy Teela (Heber City, UT).
United States Biathlon Association High Performance Director Bernd Eisenbichler expects a lot from the team this season, and knows that the athletes have worked hard during the last few months of training to make their Olympic dream come true.
“We had amazing training camps with almost no health problems among the team members so we could really do all the quality work we wanted to do. With that last year behind us the goal is clear: We do not want to repeat that year. We want to take a step forward,” said Eisenbichler.
Following this weekend’s races in Sweden, the team will compete in Hochfilzen, ,Austria on Dec. 9-13 and in Pokljuka, Poland on Dec. 15-20.
You can watch Kevin race live on Thursday, Dec. 3 at 10:10 am (CST) through the International Biathlon Union website.
Links to other stories about the U.S. World Cup Biathlon Team:
Portions of this release taken from information provided by the U.S. Biathlon Association and skinnyski.com.